Category Archives: Chinese

8 CNY snacks to usher in the new year, Takashimaya

It’s pretty in pink at Takashimaya this CNY 2018 as local and overseas bakeries bring forth their best cookies to the table. Littlemissramen visited the fair on the first day of the event and here are my top favourites.

1. Yuzu Orange, Divine Cookies

This is my top favourite because after eating all the heavy and dense foodstuff everybody stuffed you with (because CNY), this unassuming, petite biscuit magically breaks the tardiness with it’s refreshing and light texture. You’re good to chiong again, and you’re welcome.

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2. Purple Boo-Berry, The Cookie Museum

Unfortunately the sales girl stopped me before I could get a better picture.

The name doesn’t do justice to what’s inside the cookie. It has purple wheat, purple corn, blueberry, oats and white chocolate. How’s that for a super power healthy cookie? You probably can’t tell there’s so much goodness in one single cookie because of the intense flavour of the blueberry, but I’m not complaining. the taste is excellent. These do not come cheap but they’re definitely worth a try.

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3. Bak Kut Teh Cookies, Old Seng Choong

Having this around will definitely break the silence during awkward CNY gatherings. Kampong Spirit also carries other unique flavours such as cereal prawn, but I felt that the Bak Kut Teh was the most outstanding.

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4. Caramel Oat Cookies, Kele

Yet another healthy cookie on the list this year. Those watching your weight will definitely feel less guilty munching this snack. I do shudder at the thought of an oat cookie, but caramel makes everything taste and sound good for some reason. Side point: Kele’s infographics are way too cute!

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5. Pink Champagne, Christine’s by The Cookie Museum

Okay I’m familiar with champagne in mooncakes but champagne in cookies? Now that’s something new, and definitely a crowd pleaser. Pink Champagne not only has liqueur, but also rose petals, grapefruit and cereal within. While the alcoholic tones weren’t particularly obvious, the grapefruit and rose petals certainly helped to carry the flavour through.

6. Three Layers White Cloudy Cookies, The Bakerhaus

If you’re tired of eating too much of the crumbly cookie texture, then I suppose the Three Layers White Cloudy Cookie would be a nice alternative. In all honesty the name of the cookie sounds a little silly, but trust me, you’ll be wanting your second piece in no time. There’s a crumbly layer yes, but quickly you’ll also feel an airy, sweet meringue layer.

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7. Salted Egg Potato Chips, Aunty Esther

The salted egg hype has been given a new breath of air because of the recent Straits Times article. I would say that their chips are really light yet the salted egg flavour is both creamy and gao.

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8. Lychee Kueh Bangkit, Butter Studio

Kueh Bangkit is one of my childhood favourites and I’m so glad Butter Studio still has the lychee flavoured ones this year. I ate this last year and made a mental note to find them again this year and so I did.

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Bonus: CNY Hampers, Asian Treasures

If you’re feeling generous this year and would like to up your hamper gifting game, do check out Asian Treasures for their CNY hampers. I particularly like this year’s hampers because apart from the usual Chinese delicacies like abalone, Asian Treasures’ hampers have incorporated local bakes like salted egg yolk cookies.

The Takashimaya fair runs from now till 14 Feb 18.

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Imperial Treasures Nan Bei, Takashimaya


Imperial Treasures Nan Bei Takashimaya is my favourite place to go when I’m craving for good dim sum. Many would think this place is super atas just by its looks and name, but in reality the prices here are rather justified for the standards and comfort.

Xiao Long Bao, $6.80.

I always lookout for the thickness of the skin, as well as the amount and flavour of the soup. It is rather difficult to make a XLB with a thin skin that remains unbroken when you pick it up with your chopsticks. By the way, you should pick up your XLB by pinching your chopsticks close to the knot. Happy to say that the XLB at Imperial Treasures Nan Bei met my standards.

Siew Mai, $6.20. Har Kau, $6.80.

Typical dishes for a dim sum meal. Again, the skins of the siew mai and har kau were rather thin and easy on the palate. This is unlike some other har kau where the skins are thick and starchy.

Shrimp Cheong Fun, $7.

I loved this dish. The sauce was the right amount of salty, and the cheong fun was light.

You Tiao Cheong Fun, $7.

I hardly see this at dim sum shops, but when I do, it comes already soaked in the sauce, making it soggy. Here, they separate the sauces so you get maximum crispyness. The you tiao itself was super fluffy and not oily at all.

Roasted Pork, $12.

Everyone knows that a good roasted pork depends on the texture of the pork skin, followed by the ratio of fats to lean meat. This dish was well done.

Pork Ribs, $5.30.

Well if there was one dish I would skip, this would be it. Not that it’s horrible, but it wasn’t out of the ordinary for me.

La Mian with Hot and Sour Soup, $12.

I thought this would taste ordinary, but it was surprisingly tasty. The balance of spicyness against the sour tinge was well executed, and the dish is kinda addictive contrary to the jelat impression it gives.

Liu Sha Bao, $5.80.

The Liu Sha Bao here is one of the best Liu Sha Baos in Singapore. There’s more custard than the bun can handle, the texture of the custard is smooth, and the salted egg yolk taste is gao. A must try at Imperial Treasures Nan Bei.

Daily Soup, $28.

The daily soup is good for about 6-8 pax. They will first scoop just the soup for everyone (because afterall, all the essence of the meat and ingredients are in the soup), then lay out the edible ingredients on a plate. I didn’t try the meat, but my guests said it was soft and tender.

Osmanthus Jelly, $4.80.

Great way to end the meal. Look at how gao the Osmanthus jelly is!!! I could finish the whole plate by myself.

Overall, Imperial Treasures Nan Bei is on the pricy side, but you can be assured that the quality of the food and service standards matches your dollar. If you want to celebrate a family member’s birthday but think that zichar is too common and boring, why not consider this place?

Do make your reservations early if you’re planning to dine on weekends as they’re usually quite packed (I made reservations for lunch a day before and couldn’t get a good time. Had to start my “lunch” at 1030am).

391 Orchard Road, #05-12, S(238873)

+65 6738 1238

Mondays to Saturdays: 11am to 10pm

Sundays and PHs: 1030am to 10pm

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Teo Heng Teochew Porridge, Hong Lim Market and Food Centre


Good Teochew porridges are a rare commodity these days but at least they can still be found. Teo Heng Teochew Porridge in particular is my new favourite, especially during a rainy day.


I had their braised duck, braised pork belly and intestines, stuffed taupok, fish cake, boiled squid, salted vegetables and tunghoon cabbage (both not in pic). All of their dishes were superb. Not a single miss.

The braised meat and stuffed taupok were rather well done, so no complaints about that. The fish cake on the other hand, wow, it is as pure as it can get. The fish cake was super soft yet springy. What a pleasant surprise.

The boiled squid was not rubbery or hard to chew at all. It comes with a sweet sauce, which made it a dish that you can eat even without the porridge.

Special mention goes to the salted vegetables. When we ordered a bowl each (trust me, it isn’t that salty and it goes very well with the porridge), the uncle was quite shocked and said “nobody eats salted vegetables like that!!”. We later found out that the salted vegetables usually comes with fresh fish rather than as a stand-alone side dish. No wonder the salted vegetables tasted so fragrant.

Their braised eggs are also worth mentioning. Somehow they have the time and effort to monitor the timing of their braised eggs, because the yolk was lava-ish!!! Whuuut. Super mind blowing. Mind you, these are old folks running the stall.

Although the stall opens till 2pm, when I went for lunch at 12noon, items were already starting to get sold out. For example, we were one of the last few to enjoy the tunghoon cabbage, which, by the way, was very rich and tasty.

531A Upper Cross Street, Hong Lim Market and Food Centre, #01-56, S(051531)

Mondays to Saturdays: 7am to 2pm

Closed Sundays.

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Upot, Singapore Post Centre

Worth a try.

The newly renovated Singpost Centre just opened for business and like any other Singaporean that loves checking a new mall out, I paid a visit on a Saturday evening. 

Taiwan’s famous hotpot chain Upot opened a branch here so without a doubt I had to try it out. When I reached there at 630pm the queue was super long. Likely because they were having a promotion (more details below).

Tip: Make your reservations ahead of time! The kiasu me had already made my reservations earlier in the day. 

The food is served on a conveyor belt. There’s something about clocking up as many plates as you can when dining at a conveyor belt restaurant. Challenge accepted.

The good thing about this place is that you have your own personal hotpot. You can choose your own soup base, and put in whatever items you want. You’re your own chef. 

There are six varieties of soup for you to choose from. Xiaolongkan Old Hotpot ($9.80), Japanese Kombu and Bonito Soup ($7.80), Thai Tom Yam ($7.80), Tomato Soup ($7.80), Taiwanese Herbal Pork Rib Soup ($8.80) and Wild Mushroom Soup ($7.80). 

The food items are classified into different coloured plates. Green ($0.99), Orange ($1.99), Blue ($2.99) and Red ($3.99).

I tried the Tomato Soup. Every pot of soup comes with a bowl of vegetables and mushrooms. I loved my tomato soup. It was so sweet and addictive that I drank as much of the soup as I could. My party of six tried the other soups including Xiaolongkan Old Hotpot, Taiwanese Herbal Pork Rib Soup and Wild Mushroom Soup. No complaints, except for the Xiaolongkan Old Hotpot where there was too much zha within. I also saw a couple of patrons scooping out the zha halfway through their meal. 

While the soups were rather tasty, the food items were a major downer. Essentially, what you see on the conveyor belt is what you get. There’s no universal menu to refer to, so you don’t know what you don’t know unless you ask the staff for it. For example, I had to ask the staff what sort of staples they offered (for info, rice, udon and dong fen). To add on, imagine my regret from stuffing myself silly earlier in the meal with all the meats when the mushrooms and meatballs suddenly appeared at the end. Also, it didn’t occur to me that I had forgotten to ask about fish slices until I had left the place.

The upside of it is that the meat slices are sliced shabu-shabu style so it’s quite shiok to eat. If you visit from now till 11 Nov 17, they are having a 1-for-1 promotion on all red plates (all meats). In my opinion, it’s not that worth it to eat without the promotion. Look at my plate of beef above — 4 to 5 slices for $4? Don’t forget the GST and service charge. 

There’s a charge of $2 if you want the sauces. Honestly, their sauce variety is not anything out of the ordinary so I really can’t reconcile them charging me $2 just to have soya sauce with garlic and spring onions. 

40 plates for a company of 6. The bill came up to $160 (about $26 per person with the promotion. Without the promotion it would have cost about $32 per person). Talking about the plates, this place is way too cramped. It was a challenge to maneuver my space with my pot of soup, cup of drink, bowl of vegetables, bowl of cooked ingredients, and the pile of plates which can’t be cleared because they need to count the number of coloured plates for you to make your payment. One way is to pile them on top of the conveyer. Unglam, but you have no choice.

Definitely not that worth it compared to other steamboat places like Beauty in the Pot and Shi Li Fang. Won’t be back here again, but you could try this out for the novelty. 

10 Eunos Road 8, #01-137/138, S(408600)

+65 6741 6666

Daily: 1130am to 3pm, 530pm to 10pm

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Seng Kee Black Chicken Herbal Soup, Changi Road


On first glance, Seng Kee Black Chicken Herbal Soup looks nothing out of the ordinary. Its placement along Changi Road makes it easy to miss given the other mouth watering places along the same stretch. However, regulars and new patrons alike will come to realise that this place is a gem; I call this zi char with a twist!

Upon arrival, there’s no need to rush to chope a seat. Instead, head to the left side of the stall to pick your dishes (the menu is on the wall, with pictures). Once you’re done ordering, they will bring you to your table.

Mixed Herbal Mee Sua.

The herbal mee sua is yums! The soup doesn’t have that strong herbal taste that puts some people off after a while. In fact, it’s very tasty and sweet. Satisfying.

White Mee Sua.

Also decided to try their white mee sua because why not. A big difference from its counterpart, besides the herbal soup, is that the white version is actually short strands of mee sua! So short that it’s best eaten using a spoon. Add pepper and vinegar for that extra boost.

Chao Ta Beehoon.

The burnt beehoon passed my criteria of having the wokhei taste. The eggs were also well incorporated and there’s chunks of fried eggs for everyone. If you’re wondering why it looks so bare and tasteless, that’s because everything is hidden underneath the beehoon! Prawns, fish cake, bean sprouts… I’ll leave you to find your treasures. 

Get it when I said this was zi char with a twist? The above were all my staples for the meal. No rice, just mee sua and beehoon. 

Salted Egg Chicken.

The salted egg chicken was well balanced between the spicy curry leaves and salted egg yolk. The chicken could be crispier though.

Four Seasons Beans with Minced Meat.

Should have asked for the four seasons beans to be fried with hae bee hiam (spicy dried shrimp sambal). Also, the beans were a little raw tasting. 

Ngoh Hiang.

The Ngoh Hiang was good though. Crispy on the outside and light on the inside. 

Overall, this zi char is worth eating for the mee sua and burnt beehoon. If you have more people in your party however, they have a huge selection of fresh fish which you can pick from their fridge and tell them which style you want it cooked. Quite a fun experience. 

Two tips if you dine here:

1. Take charge of the portions of your dishes because they won’t advise, and are bad at estimating. Maybe they want to earn that extra money? The above food was shared between 4 people. Needless to say, we had to pack back quite a bit of food.

2. There’s free parking for Seng Kee customers across the road. It’s at the temple just before the Shell station.

475/477 Changi Road, S(419893)

Daily: 11am to 4am

+65 6746 4089

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Leong Kee (Klang) Bak Kut Teh, Geylang Lorong 11


Hands down, this is the best herbal style Bak Kut Teh (BKT) in Singapore. Located in Geylang, Leong Kee Klang BKT has a humble outlook and you may be tempted to give this a miss but TRUST ME! This is worth every calorie. 

Few words about getting to this place first. Parking is hard to find (as with everywhere else in Geylang) and you might end up circling a couple of rounds before getting a lot. Try not to illegally park along the roadside because there are security cameras and the LTA officer does his rounds regularly. 

After the parking ordeal, you’ll realise that getting a table is not easy. They have limited seating area even though they have tables in front of their stall, at the alley by the side, and an air conditioned area round the corner. It’s chaotic. Nobody will help you find a table so you’re on your own. Once you’ve settled down, you have to place your order and make payment at the stall itself. A number tag would be given, then you can proceed back to your table and wait for your food to arrive.

Dry BKT.

This dish is my favourite. It’s intensely flavourful and the chilli gives a shiok kick to the meat. It also comes with cuttlefish which some might feel makes the dish too salty but for me this doubles up as a snack. I would purposely leave a few strands till the end of the meal just to leave this place with a satisfied tummy.

Soup BKT.

The soup version is complementary to the dry version. I like to eat the beancurd skin with a spoonful of rice because that’s where you’ll get all the flavours of the BKT soup in one spoonful. While the dry version delivers a spicy kick, the soup version goes really well with rice. For both the dry and soup versions, the meat falls off the bones easily. 

Pig trotters.

You can request for lean trotters. The healthier part means that your pig trotters would be firm yet soft, with the meat stringy for added texture. You won’t be eating a mishmash of fats and meat.

Pig kidneys.

I seldom order pig kidneys at BKT stalls because kidneys, if not done right, will have that yucky porky small. Leong Kee (Klang) BKT’s pig kidneys are quite good!

Mee Sua.

You must try their mee sua! It’s not your usual nua-nua mee sua type. It has a chewy consistency, similar to ramen, so it’s really quite refreshing. When I went at 730pm on a Saturday night, I was limited to just one bowl because they “won’t have enough to sell”. Wowee. 

Leong Kee (Klang) BKT is my go to food on a monthly basis. Best eaten during a rainy day, the price is reasonable (less than $50 for the amount above), and the satisfaction from eating it is immense. 

251 Geylang Lorong 11, S(389309)

Daily: 11am to 130am

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KL Chilli Ban Mee, Food Republic, Vivocity


Food Republic at Vivocity has got a wide variety of delicious and affordable meals. The latest to join the ranks is KL Chilli Ban Mee! 

KL Chilli Ban Mee has got its own seating area, so you don’t have to fret too much about finding a space even during peak hours. 

The bowl looks really ordinary and plain, but once you eat it with their special chilli, you’ll be screaming for more.

Their spiciness levels range from 1 to 5, but I thought level 3 was best in terms of the balance between spiciness and fragrance. 

The texture was so amazing I think I can chomp it down by the spoonfuls. 

The ingredients within were well prepared as well. The ikan bilis were super crispy, the minced pork serving was generous, and most importantly, the egg yolk was still runny, giving that touch of creaminess. Mix it all up and you’re ready to go. Do remember to add your chilli! 
1 Harbourfront Walk, Vivocity Level 3, S(098585)

Daily: 10am to 10pm

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